Roche statement on 2019-nCoV (novel coronavirus)
Basel, 31 January 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) in response to the 2019-nCoV (novel coronavirus) outbreak. This is a serious health situation and we extend our sympathies to people who have lost loved ones, to patients and healthcare professionals.
We recognise that the public and private sectors across the globe need to work together to help effectively manage this developing situation. As a leader in diagnostics, Roche is committed to providing testing solutions for the world’s most challenging healthcare emergencies. We are committed to delivering as many tests as possible within the limits of supply. There are currently no medicines to treat human coronaviruses.
Roche medicines for the treatment of flu are designed to treat specific forms of flu viruses and it is extremely unlikely that they would be effective at treating the novel coronavirus. However, as infectious diseases form a core area of our research and clinical development programme, we are supporting the WHO and other relevant stakeholders as necessary, to provide expertise and advice on these cases of coronavirus.
Roche is working with Chinese health authorities and the government to ensure people can get access to screening and healthcare. We are also working to support the government and local health officials and hospitals in Hubei Province in dealing with the coronavirus.
Recently, Roche has donated diagnostic tests, medical supplies and financial support for the affected region. We are ready to do whatever we can to further assist China and the Chinese people to deal with this difficult situation.
Roche advocates that people follow the steps outlined by the WHO and the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) to protect themselves and others from the virus. As a precautionary measure our employees in China are asked to work from home and observe the extended public holiday. Business travel within and to/from China has been reduced to a minimum.
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.
Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.
Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the eleventh consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).
The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2019 employed about 98,000 people worldwide. In 2019, Roche invested CHF 11.7 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 61.5 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.